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Grok
This nOde last updated May 27th, 2003 and is permanently morphing...
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grok

grok (gròk) verb, transitive
grokked, grokking, groks
Slang.
To understand profoundly through intuition or empathy.
 
Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

[Coined by Robert A. Heinlein in his _Stranger in a Strange Land_atomjacked inventory cache .]

grok

To grok (pronounced GRAHK) something is to understand something so well that it is fully absorbed into oneself. In Robert Heinlein's science-fiction novel of 1961, _Stranger in a Strange Land_, the word is Martian and literally means "to drink" but metaphorically means "to take it all in," to understand fully, or to "be at one with." Today, grok sometimes is used to include acceptance as well as comprehension - to "dig" or appreciate as well as to know.

As one character from Heinlein's novel says:

'Grok' means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed - to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science - and it means as little to us [because we are from Earth] as color means to a blind man.

In common usage, "Do you grok?" seems close in meaning to "Do you get it?"



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grok /grok/, var. /grohk/ /vt./
 
The New Hacker's Dictionary by Eric S. Raymond

 

[from the novel "Stranger in a Strange Land", by Robert A. Heinlein, where it is a Martian word meaning literally `to drink' and metaphorically `to be one with'] The emphatic form is `grok in fullness'.

1. To understand, usually in a global sense. Connotes intimate and exhaustive knowledge. Contrast internal linkzen, which is similar supernal understanding experienced as a single brief flash. See also glark.

2. Used of programs, may connote merely sufficient understanding. "Almost all C compilers grok the void type these days."

- from _The New internal linkHacker's Dictionary_ atomjacked inventory cache by internal linkEric S. Raymond (1993)

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